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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • 10 Pet Related Tax Write-Offs You Should Know About

    Every year, I ask my CPA if there is a way to write off my pets. Every year, he laughs at me. It makes me feel like Scarlet from Gone with the Wind...

    "But, sir,” I plead. “I am the only form of support for these animals! I feed them, provide shelter, give them training, pay for doggie daycare, make sure they are clothed; why, I even cover their medical expenses!"

    Like Scarlet’s father, my CPA stares at me with his piercing blue eyes. “Now, Ms. Stacy, it’s just that the IRS don’t see animals that way. To them, those animals are just plain ol’ property - the same as that tree over yonder.”

    “Do you mean to tell me that these creatures mean nothing to those awful tax people? That land and money is the only thing worth fightin’ for? Worth dyin’ for?”

    “Why, land and money is the only thing that lasts, Ms. Stacy,” says my CPA. “Now, you go on home and let the menfolk take care of this. Taxes just ain’t fit for a lady as gentle as you  to be fussin’ over.”

    Read More
  • Happy (Early) Valentine's Day from Your Pets!

    Many will be spending Valentine's Day with their pets, which in our book is the best place to be! But, they don't make many cards for distribution by pets, so we wanted to take care of that for you this year. 

    If your dogs and cats could talk, we think this is what they would say to you - their most favorite pet people - on this special day...

    We hope you'll share with your friends who are also spending Valentine's Day with their pets. 

    Read More
  • Products for Cat Health #PetsWeeklyWags

    We get all manner of products in for review and it's been tough to get really long reviews written every day (and even harder for you guys to keep up with the reading), so we decided to group our finds into weekly favorites. These are some pet products that we think you and your pets will adore. 

    Today, we're focusing on cats and some products that will help keep them healthy (in honor of February being Cat Health Month). 

    Here's a look at some of the impressive things we've seen this week. Look for these to be in future articles with a closer look on how you can use each of them in your cat's daily life.

    Read More
  • 8 Ways to Stop A Dog from Barking

    A barking dog is an annoyance to neighbors as well as owners. Often it’s difficult to get a dog to stop barking, particularly if they are bored and just “nuisance” barking. In most states, barking dogs fall under "nuisance" laws or "noise" laws. That means you can be rightfully cited by police, and maybe even have your dogs impounded, if they are barking continuously. The good news is that there are many ways to train your dog to stop barking even when you’re not at home. 

    Most people never even know their dogs are being a nuisance while they are away at work. If you're the neighbor of a barking dog, there are certain steps to take to stop the behavior.

    To begin with, it's important to let your neighbor know and give them a chance to resolve the problem before calling authorities. If you're the owner of a barking dog, you need to understand that some people have napping children or work from their home, and so this can be a big problem.

    But, let's focus on how to stop the problem once you've established there is one.

    First off, you will need to determine why your dog is barking... 

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  • 5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

    There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be a huge benefit to you and your family, even if you have no plans to eat them.

    They provide fresh, organic eggs. They even provide natural pest control, can help rid a garden of parasites (but watch your produce!) and they can be very affectionate! 

    Not only that, they are hilarious to watch each day. Chickens each have their own personalities and watching these birds get into things (that they're usually not supposed to get into), explore the yard and pens, and just watching the ways they interact with one another can keep you entertained for hours. 

    But, before you jump into chicken-keeping full-time, ask yourself these five questions... 

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5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be Read More

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

5 Ways to Help Birds in Winter on #NationalBirdDay

January 5 is officially National Bird Day and we're looking at ways that we can help our feathered friends during Read More

Getting Old Sucks - Cognitive Dysfuntion in Dogs (CCD)

As most of you know, we have a dog who has just turned 15 years old. He’s half blind, almost Read More

Teaching Children to Approach Horses

I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, Read More
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Like us, dogs benefit from stretching: Our muscle cells work the same. This fact inspired the Foster sisters -- Sasha, a certified canine rehabilitation therapist, and Ashley, a certified pet dog trainer -- to apply 20 years of research on human stretching to the canine world. The result is their book, The Healthy Way to Stretch Your Dog. Below, Sasha Foster weighs in on the do’s and don’ts of keeping your adult dog’s muscles supple.

Why You Should Stretch Your Dog

It may help to improve overall fitness Foster says stretching your dog helps maintain joint function. One reason is because stretching produces a muscle signaling molecule called nitric oxide, according to studies on animals conducted by University of Michigan researchers Nicole Lockhart and Susan Brooks.

When this molecule is present, blood flow tends to increase, inflammation is kept in better check, and force is decreased during certain muscle contractions, all of which can aid joints and support limb function.

 

Stretching may prevent tendinitis

Stretching can also prevent soft-tissue injuries like tendinitis, which Labradors and working dogs are particularly susceptible to sustaining.

Stretching may reduce back pain Stretching can be used to manage back pain that occurs when muscles in the lower back become tight, Foster says.

Stretching can alleviates arthritis Stretching can additionally decrease the achiness and stiffness often experienced by middle-aged to older dogs, and can even minimize the pain of arthritis. “Arthritis occurs when the bones are rubbing against each other in the joint,” explains Foster. “If the muscles are nice and long, the joint is less compressed.”

When to Stretch Your Dog

Stretch your dog two to three times per week for 10 to 15 minutes at a time -- but not until after your dog is at least 2 years old. “You do not want to stretch a puppy because its growth plates are still in flux,” explains Foster. For obvious reasons, you should also avoid stretching a dog with an acute injury. Stretch your dog after it exercises. Research on human athletes has demonstrated that muscles need to warm up before being stretched. That principle is no different for dogs. “Stretching before the body is heated can cause injury. We want the muscles nice and warm -- after a walk or a swim -- before we stretch,” says Foster.

Where to Stretch Your Dog

Stretch your dog anywhere you would do yoga. “Your dog should be in a relaxing environment before you begin,” emphasizes Foster. She recommends that your pet lies down somewhere quiet and that you initially stroke or rock your furry friend before you begin, to encourage muscle relaxation.

How to Stretch Your Dog

Once your dog is lying down and relaxed, put your hand over the joint you will be manipulating. “If you’re stretching the shoulder, put your hand over the shoulder joint in order to relax the muscle. The nerves that turn the reflex off and on know your hand is there and keep the muscle from contracting,” explains Foster. Next, lift the limb parallel to the floor and move it slowly in the direction of the stretch. For example, if you’re working with the shoulder, first move the limb toward the nose -- it should take three to five seconds to get there. Once you’re there and feel a slight resistance, hold for 30 seconds before moving the limb back to where it started and lowering it to the floor. Shoulder and hip joints should ultimately be moved in four different directions: forward toward the nose, back toward the tail, up toward the ceiling, and down toward the floor. Elbow and knee joints can only be flexed and extended. “Joints should only be stretched within their range,” says Foster. “Your dog’s joints do what yours do, so use your common sense.” Foster emphasizes that stretching your pet will not only benefit its physical condition but also its emotional state. “You know how you feel after a good yoga class? Dogs feel that way after stretching,” she says. “It calms them down and just feels good.”

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